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Hundred Six karats, total, nah thats per wrist Tryina comfirm this, my chains to yo chains

Posted on 2009.06.22 at 00:39
Current Mood: contemplativecontemplative
Current Music: Green Day - ¡Viva la Gloria!

Recently there was a discussion comparing Bruce Springsteen to Billy Joel.  This discussion took place on the internet among strangers so of course a massive pissing contest ensued.  A Joel supporter made an interesting point that I felt I could expand on, or at least attempt to expand on. 

The argument made by said Joel supporter is that Springsteen is out of touch and is no longer relatable to his fans.  Bruce is known mostly for his “Working Man” anthems and attitude.  Greetings from Asbury Park came out in 1973, so he’s been doing this act for about 36 years.  In those 36 years, he’s sold 120 million albums, had a shit ton of hits, played in front of millions of people and even played the Super Bowl.  So yeah, he’s not exactly living the life of a tin knocker from Paramus.  But he still writes those Working Man songs.  Because it’s all he can do.  Allow me a bit of a digression here.

This got me thinking about rap music and how it works for them.  Let’s use Jay Z as the example here.  He is one successful dude.  Same as the boss, he came up from a less than wonderful situation and has gone on to sell lots of albums, tour around the world, marry beyonce and own the Nets.  So yeah, he’s not exactly slinging crack on the corners of Bedford anymore. 

Here’s where it’s better to be a rapper than a rock singer.  Rappers can rap about being broke and selling drugs and robbing liquor stores when that’s what they’re doing.  It works for the first album or until they get big.  But then when they make it and have millions of dollars and iced out chains and all that good stuff, they can’t rap about being broke anymore.  But it doesn’t matter.  Because they rap, they can make the next album about how much money they have and their cars and shit.  And that’s fine because rap is allowed to be about that for some reason. 

Don’t get me wrong, the rappers will reminisce about their past in a song, but it’s never fond memories.  It’s always something along the lines of “Hey, remember that shit we used to do?  I’m sure glad I don’t have to do that anymore.”  And the next verse is about rims or something.

So I’m back to Bruce.  At one point, he was the working man playing bar gigs on the shore at night.  So that’s what the songs were about.  But he got successful and went on to become Bruce Springsteen, the man who could sell out Giants Stadium wiping his ass. 

But in rock, you aren’t allowed to brag.  You aren’t allowed to make an album about how much money you have or how many supermodels you’ve banged.  It’s not allowed.  The only songs you’re allowed to write about your career from this point on are those “It’s so hard being a rock star” or “Touring is lonely” type songs.  And those songs always suck.  Has anyone ever actually enjoyed hearing Bob Seger’s 1972 “woe is me” pussy boy anthem “Turn the Page”?  No, but that’s all Bob was allowed to write.  Any time a rock band makes it, their next album will contain at least one song about how hard it is to be famous.  This is universal. 

Look, when it comes to Springsteen, I’m a casual fan.  I haven’t heard much of his new stuff.  I assume it’s more of the same.  And who can blame him?  It’s what works.  He goes to that Working Man well pretty often, but the well never seems to go dry for him. 

So maybe he is pandering at this point.  But I suppose it’s better than having him whine about his life he used to have than hearing him whine about the life he has now.   Maybe he’s one of the very few famous musicians who remember what it’s like to not have money and to not be famous.  So maybe he’s still relating to the fans by singing about their shitty lives instead of singing about his.  It’s that or bitch about being on tour because he’s not allowed to sing about how he played the Super Bowl like Nelly did and he’s not allowed to go by the nickname “iceberg” because of all the diamonds he has.  He can’t be miserable without looking like he’s pandering and he can’t be too happy without looking like an asshole.  So here he is, 36 years later, still singing about how they closed down the auto plant in Mahwah.  Because that’s what he’s allowed to do.  A-woah-woah-woah.

 

-jb


sick as a porno flick yet gold as precious laughter

Posted on 2009.05.28 at 00:14
Current Mood: lazylazy
Current Music: Rancid - Maxwell Murder

More things I think I think


Every time I listen to Blues Traveler I wish I could play the harmonica.  But then something else comes on and the feeling passes.

I think “Pissing Contest” would be an awesome name for a punk band. 

If you’re Demi Moore, how do you handle Ashton Kutcher’s commercials where he’s hawking those digital cameras?  In everyone single one, he’s getting eye fucked by women half her age.  Although I suppose a commercial where he flirts with 50 year old women would be a tad unsettling.  It’s bad enough we have tom see him do it in public and for real.

I think the most important tracks on an album are the first and last.  One gets your attention and the other needs to provide closure while making you want more.  Think about it.  What other song besides “Welcome to the Jungle” could have opened Appetite for Destruction ?  And is there a more perfect closing to Weezer’s Blue Album than “Only In Dreams”?

So I’m trying to figure out what the best opening tracks of all time are and what the best closing tracks of all time are.  Suggestions are welcomed.   Expect several thousand words written on this subject in the near future.

I think if Brett Favre plays for the Vikings this season, the whole letting his “un-retirement” thing goes out the window.

I think everyone responsible for the current Moeghan Sun television ad campaign needs to be dragged into the street, beaten without mercy and shot.

I think I’m grateful as all hell that Fall Out Boy isn’t opening the New Jersey dates of the Blink 182 reunion tour.  I honestly don’t know if I could have taken that.

I think NBC made a mistake cancelling "My Name is Earl".  Hopefully it'll get picked up by another network.

I think I know why the Brewers blow it every year:  We have no players on the juice.  It’s hard to stay healthy and not get worn down over a 162 game season.  If our guys were roided up, maybe we could make a run for the division instead of our current plan of falling apart every July.   

I think Adam Carolla has the best podcast out there right now.  He works much better as a podcast with no censorship or commercials than as a morning radio host.  Check him out.

I think that the season finale of SNL proved that Will Farrell still has it.  The Goodnight Saigon skit was way better than it had any right to be.

-jb


more ripoffs!

Posted on 2009.05.05 at 23:02
Current Mood: mellowmellow
Current Music: Spring Heeled Jack USA - Joelene
MORE THINGS I THINK I THINK


The PA announcers at hockey games have an irritating habit of announcing goals scored during game play. I have a theory that this distracts the players. Is there a reason we can’t wait until between periods to announce goals? If you’re watching playoff hockey, just keep an eye on this. If it’s a goal by the home team, it’s especially obnoxious. The PA guy comes on over the sound system in full throat, using an orgasmic tone of voice usually reserved to announce a cure for cancer to give us the vitals:

WASHINGTON CAPITALS GOAL SCORED BY NUMBER 8, ALEXANDER OOOOVVVVVECHKIN!!!!!! ASSIST ON THE GOAL BY NUMBER 87 DONALD BRASHEEEEEAR AND NUMBER 17 CHRRRRRRRISSSSS CLAAAAAAAARRRRRKKKKK!!!!! TIME OF GOAL EIGHT EIGHTEEN IN THE SECOND PERIOD!!!!!!!! CAPITALS GOAL SCORED BY OVECHKIN, HIS SIXTH OF THE PLAYOFFS ASSISTED BY BRASHEAR AND CLARK!!!! TIME OF GOAL EIGHT EIGHTEEN!!! SUUUUUUUUCK IT PITTSBURGH!!!!

All that, as the game is going on. Yeah, that can’t be distracting at all.

Is there a difference between Miss USA and Miss America? I can’t tell.

Really, Aerosmith? ZZ Top? Um, I think I’ll pass this time. Thanks though. Come back next time without a band that doesn’t suck and I’ll be back.

I like the Lonely Island thing as much as anyone, but “Like A Boss” doesn’t work without the video.

In geek news, I have hit a wall in Guitar Hero Metallica.  I just need to know I'm never going to beat Whiplash or One and make peace with that.

We will rock you should be retired from sporting events. Nobody stomps and claps along with it anymore and it’s just dated. You ever try stomping on a concrete floor? It makes no noise. So even if everyone is going along with it, you get two muffled beats and a clap. That is not the kind of thing that motivates players. Groupies, million dollar paydays and over inflated egos are what motivates players. Not a 30 year old gimmick song from an otherwise good classic rock band.

Film Recommendation: Anvil! The Story Of Anvil. Great documentary. Nothing has made me miss being in a band and at the same time not miss being in a band before. Impressive. As an added bonus, they all sound exactly like Bret “The Hitman” Hart. Canadians are good that way.

I don’t think the get up kids were broken up long enough for me to care that they’re back together.

On the flip side of reunions, I am beyond amped for Blink 182 to hit the road again. We need fun pop punk again.

-jb


Silence is the enemy

Posted on 2009.04.29 at 17:19
Current Mood: thoughtfulthoughtful
I know FOX is evil and all that, but I gotta give some props to them for what they're doing (or rather, not doing) this evening. The president is doing some speech thing about his first 100 days in office, and every network is covering it. Every network except FOX. I for one applaud this decision, not because of any political beliefs but for my television watching beliefs. There is no reason that every network needs to drop everything whenever the president makes an announcement. One channel is fine. Let's make a government channel that only comes on for shit like this. Make it channel 1. That way the president isn't sticking his ass into our living rooms on every channel.

I think it also kinda makes us look weird. The guy runs the country, i get that, but it seems a little dictatorish when every channel is all but obligated to show his speech. So I'm glad FOX is taking the first step here and not showing it. They know that the people who are going to be watching the speech will be divided up between CBS, NBC, ABC, and the million or so cable news networks. But the people who don't want to watch the speech will be a hell of a lot more likely to watch Lie To Me instead. I wouldn't be surprised to see other networks give this a try in the near future. If this was all happening tomorrow, I'd be rather annoyed. I'll be completely honest here: I would rather watch The Office and 30 Rock than a presidential address. Maybe that makes me a bad American or ignorant or what have you but I don't think I'm alone here.

But that's just me. A presidential address of a non emergency nature does not mean we all have to enter into tv monopoly. And I think the networks might be figuring that out. I just didn't think it would be the same network that brought us "Who's Your Daddy".

-jb

We sat around the pile. We sat and laughed.

Posted on 2009.04.17 at 00:23
Current Mood: blankblank
Current Music: Teenage Bottlerocket - Pacemaker
Ten Things I Think I Think
 

Peter King (the nfl analyst, not the guy who used to be on MTV) does this in his column every week.  I thought I'd give it a shot.  If it goes well, I may keep doing it.

1. I think someone at NBC said "the office is good and all, but what if it was set in Indiana, had Amy Poehler in it and wasn't funny?"

2. Is it just me or wasn't the dtv transition supposed to happen back in January?  Is this concept really that hard to grasp that they keep pushing it back?

3. I think I miss having XM, but I don't miss it enough to fork out cash for yet another radio, pay an upgraded fee for online listening, have some of my favorite channels canceled on a whim and dealing with their piss poor customer service.

4. I think I like the chances of a large silver trophy showing up in Newark somewhat soon.

5. I think Green Day may have done it again. "Know Your Enemy" is "Holiday" part two.

6. I think I still don't care for John Mayer's music, but his Twitter feed is the exact kind of thing the internet was made for.

7. I think I miss seeing Kal Penn on House, but knowing that he left the show to go work at the White House is impressive enough for me to get over it. 

8. I think Prison Break is ending at the right time.  It'll be interesting to see how they wrap everything up in five episodes.

9. I think should T-Bag survive, we all write start a letter writing campaign demanding he get his own spinoff.

10. Say what you will about Eminem (I could take him or leave him) but the dude knows how to make an entertaining music video.

-jb



Another fatal wreck On the information highway

Posted on 2009.03.22 at 01:36
Current Mood: awakeawake
Current Music: The bouncing souls - airport security
So here why I haven't been writing lately.  My computer has been greeting me with the following screen as of late:




And so far I haven't been able to figure out what to do.  I tried calling tech support, but they pointed out that my warranty ran out sometime during the Nixon administration and that if I wanted their help it would require a couple hundred bucks and a blood oath that I will name my firstborn “Dell”.  So I’m roughing it on a separate computer that serves the function, but is not my normal creative space as it were. 

I am especially interested in the first line of the aforementioned error screen:  “We apologize for the inconvenience, but Windows did not start successfully.”

Forgive me for asking, but whom exactly is “We”?  Are there tiny elves working in the tower making everything possible?  “We” indicates that there is at least two people involved in this error and that they are sorry.  I opened up the tower to find these people and discuss the error, but they were nowhere to be found.  Too bad. 

I’ve tried every combination of start ups and settings and everything, and I just can’t get the damn thing to start.  I’ve tried hitting it, yelling at it and even ignoring it for extended periods of time, but nothing has worked.  However, I am not giving up hope.   This seems like the kind of thing that will solve itself if given enough time.  So every couple days I give it a whirl and see what happens.  So far nothing of note has occurred.

Some say that the true definition of insanity is repeating the same process over and over and expecting different results.  Perhaps, and maybe it’s the caveman logic we have all retained throughout the years mixed with my downright stubbornness, but I honestly do think it’ll just work one day


Potpourri:

- Demetri Martin is 35?  Jesus Christ.  I would have guessed he's 25.

- I know it's early, but Jimmy Fallon looks really uncomfortable up there.

- What's the deal with Elizabeth Banks?  I don't think I have liked her in anything. 

- Roseanne Barr apparently has 27 different personalities.  Too bad none of them are funny (rimshot).

- I can't find my keys.  Any ideas?

- Does anyone know how twitter makes money?

- I don't think the tours will line up, but I would love to see Pop Disaster 2.

I think that's it for now.

-jb




Dear Yankees Fans: good luck this year.

Posted on 2009.03.17 at 21:08
Current Mood: amusedamused
2.

Jesus Christ.  I don't even have the words.

-jb


I don't know where I can go to let these ghosts out of my skull

Posted on 2009.02.26 at 23:26
Current Mood: calmcalm
Current Music: LWL - Bassist For Sale

So I finally joined the masses.  I gave in.  I finally watched Arrested Development.   Thanks to the fine people over at Hulu, it was free as well.  They actually have the entire series up there.  So over a short period of time, I worked my way from pilot episode to series finale.  And I have some thoughts that I felt like putting out there.  So here goes.

The show was very good.  The writing was clever, the acting was on point and it never took itself seriously.  So it was a good show.  But it was far from the holy grail of TV comedies.   There were times where it was only moderately amusing and sometimes the over the topness was indeed over the top. 

Guest stars are fine and good, but I felt like sometimes it was forced.  Maybe the only reason anyone enjoyed Henry Winkler’s character is because he’s Henry Winkler.  Same goes for Scott Baio.  It’s not so much that the characters are funny to the viewer than it is the viewer seeing only Scott Baio and getting a kick out of seeing him on a TV show.  I wonder if those characters would have worked as well if they were played by unknowns. 

OK, here’s where I’m going to lose many of you.  You’ve been warned.

The show ended at the right time.

There was (and to some extent, still is) lots of hullabaloo about the show being cancelled before its time.  I disagree with that school of thought.  I think that if the show had continued past a third season, it would have entered a gradual decline.  The fourth season would have been funny for sure, but it would have to start making some serious stretches.  I know the show is farfetched to begin with, but I think we would have seen some really strange writing to keep the story together.  Eventually, Michael would have at least made the company somewhat stable, right?  Although his obligation to take over the company and hold the family together is strong, at some point Michael would have to walk away.  And then there’s no real reason for the show to exist.  I just think it would have crossed the line from “fun-wacky” to just “wacky”.

Like I said, it would have been a gradual thing.  Like with The Simpsons or The Office.  Yeah, it’s still worth watching, but it has really seen better days.  There are funny episodes and moments here and there but it’s nothing like it was in the glory days. 

Two examples:  Chappelle’s Show and Nirvana.

Chappelle’s show was the hottest thing on television for two seasons.  It was funny on a constant basis and was doing stuff that hadn’t been done before.  People were digging it and were bummed out when Dave went AWOL and the show ended.  But now you can look back at those two years and it’s all good memories.  It was on for two seasons and will be remembered as one of the best things Comedy Central ever did.  All it took was two good seasons.

Nirvana was the biggest band in the world from 1991 to 1994.  Once again, it was something new and exciting that had people talking.  Kurt dies and that’s that.  Now Nirvana is regarded as one of the most important rock bands ever.  Three proper LPs and one groundbreaking music video.  That’s pretty much it.  But what if Kurt hadn’t swallowed the business end of a shotgun?  He’d be 42 right now.  Do you honestly think that what he would be doing right now would be worth hearing?  Of course not.  Nirvana would just be regarded as another one of those Seattle bands from the 90s.  But because it all ended when it did, everyone looks back and only thinks of how great it was.

Three seasons for Arrested Development, and they’re done.  And just like how Chappelle will be remembered for his fresh take on sketch comedy and just like how Nirvana will be remembered for being the band that pushed music in a new direction, he show will be remembered as great television and nothing less.  There was no jumping the shark moment. 

There’s talk of a movie, but I’d be fine if it didn’t happen.  I liked the ending we have already.  Maybe is going to continue dealing with her parents and finding new ways to scam money off people, Tobais is going to continue being an “actor”, Gob is the same magician with his new son Steve Holt, Buster hasn’t changed at all, and the company is on the verge of being fucked over again.  It’s perfect.  There doesn’t need to be any real closure.  It is what it is, that’s what the show was always based on, so why end any other way?

So keeping all that in mind, I think Michael and George Michael sailed off into the sunset at just the right time. 

So there.  I saw the damn show, I enjoyed it, I’m glad its not on any more.

And no, I still have not (and have no plans to) seen Napoleon Dynamite.

-jb
 


Life is a play... Sometimes I can remember the rehearsal

Posted on 2009.02.05 at 00:15
Current Music: Guns n Roses - madagascar
Scene: New Brunswick Train Station
New Brunswick, New Jersey


A group of 15 or so assorted folk sit on wooden benches, waiting for a train. Some listen to iPods, some read, some chat on their cell phones. In the corner, a sanitation worker is napping next to his equipment.

JIM, a young man in his mid 20s, sits alone. He is playing tetris on his cell phone. He is approached by ANDRES, a hispanic man in his mid to late 30s.

ANDRES
Hey, can I make a local call?

JIM
What?

ANDRES
I need to make a local call.  Can you help me out?

JIM
Yeah, sure.
 
JIM reaches into the pocket of his jeans and produces a handful of assorted COINS.  He plucks out a QUARTER and holds it out to ANDRES.
 
JIM
Here ya go.

ANDRES
I just need to make a local call.

JIM
I know.  There's phones right over there. (Indicating a small bank of pay phones not more than 20 feet away.)

ANDRES
Can I use your phone?

JIM
Well, no.  But the pay phones are right there.  (He once again indicates the phones)

ANDRES
It won't take any time boss.  I just need to call and check something.  I'll give you a dollar.

JIM
I don't really want a dollar. 

ANDRES
It's a local call.

JIM
(becoming annoyed)
I know.  You've said that.

ANDRES
It's no big deal.  I just need to make a quick local call.  No problem.

JIM
You do realize in the time this discussion has taken, you could have gone to the phone and made your call, right?

(5 second pause)

ANDRES
I'll give you five dollars.

JIM
Dude, no.

ANDRES
I'd really appreciate it.  I need to make a local call.

JIM
There's phones over there.  I gave you a quarter.  Go make your fucking call.

ANDRES
Alright boss, sorry.
 
ANDRES EXITS STAGE LEFT, DOWN THE STAIRS, WITHOUT MAKING A PHONE CALL AT THE PAY PHONES.

SCENE



OK. 

Dude was trying to steal my phone, right?

-jb
 


 

And although it seems heaven sent, we ain't ready to see a black President

Posted on 2009.01.25 at 23:37
Current Music: Suicide Machines - So Long
I'm not a heavily political guy. But I wanted to do my little "end of bush's time in office" blog thingy. Just some assorted media and links and what not. enjoy.

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http://thisfuckingelection.com/
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